Perhaps the best possible way to detect whether your dog is happy or not is to pay attention to a dog’s body language and that includes the facial expression, tail position, and general posture. A happy dog will surely create a happy family because you wouldn’t have to worry much about her. Here are some of the most prominent ways that should tell you if your dog is happy or not;
A High and Waggy Tail
Perhaps a high and waggy tail is the most well-known sign that your dog is very happy. Lower or tucked tail are signs that your dog is unhappy. In this case, the dog may tuck the tail in-between the legs rather than just wagging it up high. Though just because the tails are being waged so high does not mean they are very happy, they may decide to produce slow wagging of the tail as a sign of fear and insecurity.
Floppy ears may also mean that the dog ears are relaxed though not in a tensed or flattened against the head. In this case, you should consider a pricked ear standing upright as a sign of mental alertness in your dog. A pricked and upright ear wouldn’t tell you if your dog is happy or not, but it shows that the animal is focused. If the ears suddenly go floppy especially when the dog is reacting to a situation or decision made by you, then the dog is sad. When your dog is not happy, the ears will naturally pull back and pinned or flat against the head.
The Body is Relaxed
A happy dog will surely have a relaxed body. If your dog is particularly relaxed in their posture, and not stiff or tense, then it is an indication that the animal is feeling good. If your dog has loose shoulders plus soft eyes without a fixed gaze, and some wiggles, then your dog is feeling cool.
A worried dog often looks tense rather than relaxed, especially in the way she holds herself. The dog might shrink away while holding her head low and sometimes the dog may avoid eye contact and simply look away. If your dog stands still just like a statue, it means she is getting uncomfortable.
Restlessness is often caused by an underlying medical condition be it arthritis, tick or flea attack or some internal issues. Tokeep your pet happy under this situation you may have to take it for medical examination and apply the prescribed medication or treatment.
Your Dog is Playful
A happy dog will likely want to play and leap around you or the kids. If the dog is playing bows, she is probably in the mood to play with you because she is happy. If your dog turns away from you because she is unhappy with what you or someone else is doing, then she will try to turn her head away from you. In some cases, some dogs will give you a quick lick on the hand or face and then leave, indicating they are done with your presence.
The Dog Leans into You
A relaxed dog will surely want your attention especially when she is relaxed and want your attention. The dog may come to you directly for attention and will lean into you when you stroke her.
Appeasement behavior is one of the signs that your dog is not happy. If your dog is rolling over onto her back and stay stiff rather than doing it in a relaxed manner, it simply means the dog is worried but not out to hurt you in any way. If your dog repeatedly licks her lips or yawn, she is just trying to give you a low-key signal that she is uncomfortable.
Your Dog Spends More Time with You
A happy dog will surely want to spend several hours with you, and may even develop an anxiety disorder if you leave her side. Though you might have trained your dog to use her own space and crate, she will surely want to pop in once in a while to be sure that you are still around.
An unhappy dog, on the other hand, may begin to hide and even walk away for some reasons. The dog might be suffering from some stressful conditions that she is trying to communicate with you. In some cases, your dog may try to hide behind you or an object and may even take themselves to an area they don’t normally visit. In this case, you must not follow them or impose an interaction, the dog may simply need some time out.
She Maintains Strong Eye Contact
You know your dog is happy if she constantly gazes at you for a longer period of time. In some cases, the dog may gaze at you and make some noises to express discomfort- in this case, the dog might develop some critical issues that require urgent attention. If your dog doesn’t show any signs of distress but gaze at you frequently, then she is excited about your preference.
She is Excited About Her Treats
Often times, happy dogs are excited about the food or treat you give them but when they are unhappy, they may not show enthusiasm to partake in any activity with you. They may even ignore their food or treat.
A lot of things can make your dog unhappy, and oftentimes it can be difficult to ascertain why she is unhappy. As mentioned before, underlying medical conditions is the number one cause of unhappiness in dogs, hence they must be taken for a medical examination when you have done everything possible to make them happy. Staying away from your dog for too long, for instance, can make the dog unhappy. Most times your dog may not understand what is inappropriate, hence she becomes anxious, you may have to train the animal on behavioral adjustments to ensure that she embrace the appropriate way to handle different situations.